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tv   Book Discussion  CSPAN  November 2, 2014 8:30am-9:36am EST

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comedian, the first star, african-american of prime time television, pioneer of children's television with his early guest appearances on sesame street and the electric company and then fat albert. the most successful, if you'll all remember, advertising pitchman in the country in the '70s and '80s was the jell-o ad and coca-cola and ford and so forth. and that was all even before "the cosby show." but then, as you all know, in the last -- after a career where he did not bring race and politics into his comedy and often was criticized for that, in the last ten years he's become very outspoken, very controversial for some very strong stances he's taken about trends in the black community
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that he sees as destructive. so i really wanted to know, you know, where did this come from, and were a lot of the views that he's been expressing recently views that he's had all along? you know, sort of what drove him and what was his vision of the kind of social impact that he was going to have? plus, nobody had done it. i mean, he was rare in a figure of his significance and prominence in that nobody had written a serious in-depth biography. so i decided i wanted to do it. and then i discovered why nobody had written -- [laughter] an in-depth biography. i had, i had met him a few times, i didn't know him well, but sort of, to sort of greet
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him when he appeared on the television networks that i work for. but i did know alvin -- [inaudible] who is a harvard psychiatrist who was an adviser on "the cosby show" and is a good friend of bill and camille cosby's. so i called him, and i made my pitch for why i thought bill cosby would be great subject for a book. and he agreed with me, and he offered to speak to cosby on my behalf. a week later he called back and said i don't think he's going to help you. he has trust issues. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> here's a quick look at some of the upcoming book fairs and festivals that are happening around the nation.
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>> be sure to let us know about book fairs and festivals happening in your area. e-mail us at booktv@c-span.org. >> roberto trotta is the author of "the edge of the sky." he explains the unito verse and -- universe using only the 1,000 most commonly-used words in the english language. he spoke for about an hour. >> and now it is my pleasure to introduce our distinguished speaker.
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dr. roberto trotta is a theoretical cosmologist in the astrophysics of -- [inaudible] um peerl college, london. he's one of the world's leading figures in astrostatistics, a new discipline focusing on the use of statistical methods to solve problems in cosmology and astrophysics. roberto has held research positions at university of geneva, the university of oxford as well as visiting positions at the african institute for mathematical sciences in capetown -- [speaking in native tongue] and university of california at santa barbara. he also has published more than 50 scientific papers, contributed to two books and
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received numerous awards for his research, including michaelson prize of case western reserve university, the lord calvin award of the british association for the advancement of science and a public engagement fellowship by the science and technology facilities council. please join me in welcoming dr. roberto trotta. [applause] >> thank you. good evening, everyone, and thanks for being here. i'm very pleased to be here tonight in such an amazing place. i love this city that sits on the edge of the big body of water looking towards where the sun goes down. i love are its ups and down, its
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ever-surprising corners and, of course, its people. [laughter] so this really is a perfect place for me to be giving the first of several talks about my new book, "the edge of the sky." the book came out of a little idea that it should be possible to talk about very hard things in a straightforward way that all people can understand. the problem with people like me, you see, is that sometimes we get carried away and speak about the work using words that only other -- [inaudible] people can understand. this makes it not possible to have a conversation with other people, people like you. after a while your eyes will begin to stare into empty space, and you probably walk away as soon as you can with a silent sigh, happy to have escaped. [laughter] it's like talking with only the most-used is 1,000 words in our tongue.
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i thought it could be a fun way. this is what my book is about and what this evening is about. i'd like to share with you some of the ideas behind the book and how this likely, crazy idea became reality. so i might be forgiven for thinking this little piece at the beginning sounds a little strange, and perhaps with george bernard shaw, this is down to me having spent ten years as a brit. as you know, britain and united states are two nations divided by common language. i'm honored to be presenting tonight in this special place. just by way of background, as we heard a minute ago, i am a physicist, and my research is
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astrophysics and cosmology is about dark energy, dark matter, all of these unknown dark things, pretty useful dark things out there in the universe. but i'm also a passionate communicator of science. i really believe that one of the main roles of scientists in this day and age is to be able to communicate with the public. not just communicate in a top-down way, but even engaging the public in a two-way dialogue about those big concepts, those big ideas, those very fundamental questions about the reality of the universe, of the old ways that we all share and we're all interested in. in particular, astrophysicists like myself, we are in a position where the big science we do is science that naturally draw people's attention, and wherever i go and give talks, i always find people being fascinated by the questions we ask, by the answers that we sometimes get and by the even bigger questions that are still unsolved and the biggest mysteries in the universe.
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and so it's really our duty to tap into these to share the passion that drives our quest and the reason why we are spending big money, taxpayer money into this kind of research which is as fundamental as few other things, in my view, in our endeavor to understand our place in the group verse. in the universe. but trying to do that, as scientists, we face some big hurdles. one, and perhaps the most obvious one, is the problem of jargon. we scientists, we tend to speak in jargon simply because those are the words that we have, they are the words of our trade, the words we have chosen to explain our subject to our peers. but then, obviously, important questions and important ideas can get and do get lost in translation. let me give you an example.
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here is a paper from 1965 by these two gentlemen, arnold -- [inaudible] and ronald wilson, who picked up using a big horn antenna a signal they could not explain. they were picking up some noise that they couldn't, they didn't expect and couldn't explain. and so after trying as long as they could to get rid of that noise, they reluctantly came to realize that it was something as centrally that was -- astrally that was important. a princeton scientist told them what they were actually picking up. and so they went on and published a paper in the astrophysical journal, a paper entitled a measurement of
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excessive temperature at -- [inaudible] [laughter] and it was only one and a half pages long, what they really wanted to say, what they really meant by this title was we have discovered proof of the big bang. [laughter] the universe had a beginning, and the beginning was a hot, dense state, and the -- [inaudible] was the noises we were picking up with a microwave antenna. they didn't know it themselves at the time, but this is the type of -- [inaudible] in 1965 surely the ideas and the science of communication must have improved in the past few decades. well, fast forward to 1999 to another paper by collaborators. now, you can see, there are two guys in this first paper and about 25 guys, only a fraction of the authors here.
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in this new paper, science becomes harder because it's harder to make new discoveries now that all the low hanging fruit, as it were, have been picked. [laughter] so this paper says a measurement of omega and lambda from here -- [inaudible] every time you see papers with letters, that's a sign that people are trying to be smart, okay? [laughter] they're trying to impress their audience by using letters that normal mortals do not understand. and the paper goes on saying reports measurements of the density of the universe based on the amount of -- [inaudible] supernova -- [inaudible] blah, blah, blah. i'll spare you the rest. what a they're trying to say is they found proof that 70% of the universe is being ripped apart by an unknown force field. okay? and this paper won a nobel prize for physics a couple of years ago. and again, very hard for anybody
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but the insiders to understand what this paper's actually about. okay. so 1999, you think by now, surely, 21st century, things have improved. so let's look at this paper here by the cms collaborators, that's a -- part of a detector in geneva which is about five stories high, okay? that's what a compact protective looks like now a days. [laughter] and this paper, you don't see authors' names because the it's composed of, give or take, 5,000 scientists. [laughter] observation of -- [inaudible] 125 gev with the cms experiment at thehc. more abstract still -- the standard model in prototoe collisions -- protocollisions using beta samples of up to
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5.1 -- [inaudible] so what they're trying to say is we have found the god particle. [laughter] so you see why jargon is a problem in my field. and, okay, fair enough, those are scientific papers. those are serious papers that are written for the experts and for fellow physicists, so you might not expect them to be accessible to just about anybody. just about anybody with a ph.d. in astrophysics, actually. so jargon is a problem. but there's another problem, perhaps more subtle, which i didn't realize until recently which is the use of language, the fundamental nature of this book. when i say electron or galaxy or star, those are words which are fairly common and pretty much anybody has heard about perhaps in school or perhaps in reading perhaps a science book. but then what i mean by electrons truly is different
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from what people who don't have my day job think about as an electron or a galaxy. so i think i'm being precise or communicating science by using words that are understood at some level by everybody, but actually they hide a very deep layer of meaning that has and does escape the non-expert. and so in my quest to find new ways of talking about the science that i'm passionate about, i was looking for new ways of breaking those communication barriers, of actually bridging this technical logic gap cans so that you and i can have a meaningful, informed discourse about the big questions in my science. what is the fundamental nature of the universe? what is dark mart matter? what is energy? why are we here? and so i tried a few things. i tried using cookery and food to explain the expansion of the universe. [laughter] i tried the great cookery show
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in a pan trying to use pancakes to explain the universe. i've worked with artists and designers to create objects. i've tried to encapsulate in a more tangible way those answers coming from cosmology. i've worked with architects building a pinball machine that represented -- well, i won't tell you what it represented. that's a story for another day. but the point is in those efforts what i was trying to do is i was trying to find new ways of communicating, talking about my science in way that would not only speak to people's minds, but also speak to people's hearts, to bring back passion in science. because, after all, science is a human endeavor, and as such with passion, creativity, sometimes frustration and sometimes just plain hard work. so how do we bring all of that back into play? so for a decade now i've been
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looking for a new way of doing just that. and perhaps -- because i love language. doing it with language was something that i would have loved to do. something akin to what ernest hemingway is reported to have done, somebody challenged him to write a story or a novel using only six words. he took up the challenge, and he thought for a little while, and then he come up with this: for sale, baby shoes, never worn. pretty tense, isn't it? pretty powerful. and six words, an entire story and a tragic one is condensed in this short story. and so how could we do that with science? how could we do that with cosmology? these faraway concepts.
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one day something interesting happened. i was looking for something entirely unrepresented, and then i stumbled upon the internet upon something called the up gore five challenge. it's an idea by the creator of the xkcd.com web-based comickings. it's a cartoon series which has been going on for many, many years, and its distinct characteristic is it's very geeky. in a good way, but so geeky that most of the time i don't get the jokes. [laughter] usually about physics, computer science, a lot of computer science that i don't understand, math and so on, and it's got a huge following. and, in fact, for an interesting twist of fate, if you like, it
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was at this very place two weeks ago, so amazing how sometimes people's paths intersect. intersecting in interesting ways. anyhow, the point is this cartoon here is, it's a sketchy drawing of something that you might recognize as the saturn five moon rocket. but the interesting idea was that all the parts of the rocket were labeled using only the most used 1,000 words in the english language. of course, you couldn't call it saturn, you couldn't call it rockets, so you could call it up goer. five is in the list of words, so that's good. and all of this is labeled in funny ways, and there's bits and
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pieces -- [inaudible] call the room for -- [inaudible] [laughter] so it was a fun idea. and sure enough, someone on the internet picked it up and challenged people to write their job using this very same vocabulary, are spare lexicon. so i came upon this challenge, and i spent a fun half an hour trying to describe my job, my day job using the standard words, and this is what i came up. it was very hard, actually. i kept banging my head against the restrictions. so this is what i came up with. i study tiny bits of matter that are all around us that we can cannot see which we call dark matter. we know dark matter is out there because it changes the way other big, far-away things move such
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as stars. we want to understand what dark matter is made of because it could tell us about where everything around us came from and what will happen next. to study dark matter, people like me use big things that's taken lots of money -- [inaudible] and people to build. [laughter] some are large things that make tiny pieces of matter kiss each other as they fly around very, very fast. almost as fast as light. we hope that we can hear the whisper of dark matter if we listen very carefully. we take all the wisdom from all the -- [inaudible] and we put them together in our computers. we use big computers to do this as there are lots and lots of tiny whispers we do need to look at. i go to places all over the world and talk to other people like me. together we can think better and work faster. together, perhaps, we can find better ways to listen to dark matter.
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most of them are good people, and after we talk we go out and have a drink and talk some more. [laughter] so this is a little bit i wrote, and i wrote it and kind of forgot about it. then in february last year i was invited to give a talk in east london, and the person who introduced me gave my bio, and then they said something along the lines, and he even writes about science using 1,000 words only on his web site. okay. and then i gave my talk, and then somebody in the public said what is this business of 1,000 words about? can you explain? and because i had my computer with me, so i just read aloud the very same two paragraphs or so i just read to you. unexpectedly, i got the same reaction i got here tonight, people chuckling and being amused by it. i got a warm round of applause, much better than doing my talk, actually.
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[laughter] and so that got me thinking, this notion that actually this format could do something to solve the problem that i was trying to get around to communicate science and talk about science in a fresh u new way -- fresh, new way, to give new eyes to cosmology and hopefully make it surprising and perhaps fill it with, hopefully, child-like wonder. so i started actually writing what became "the edge of the sky" as a little project of my own. i just wanted to figure out how far you could stretch this format that i had only used for three paragraphs, and would it work at book length? a short book, to be sure, but still a book. so it was very much experimental in my mind as i sat down and started this exercise. the first hurdle was how do i get around talking about this complicated and faraway concepts
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with the most-used thousand words only? some words that i really wanted to have, i didn't have telescope. i did not have users. i didn't have energy, cosmos, big bang, gravity, earth, scientist, moon, galaxy, i didn't even have fog which in this city is a very important word, of course. [laughter] as it turns out, the very universe can be described as a kind of fog, but i congress use the fog word. so -- i couldn't use the fog word, so i was stuck. at the beginning it was very hard. it was very hard. i didn't have any of those words, and i kept banging my head against this wall of this self-imposed straitjacket. but then little bit of something interesting started to happen to me. this voice started to emerge, and someone grew on me actually. a new vocabulary emerged naturally by itself, the new
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voice actually was very much out of the interaction of what i wanted to say and what the format wanted to say or was allowing me to say. so telescopes became, a telescope became a big sphere, the planet, a crazy star. the universe -- [inaudible] particles became drops, scientists, well, student person will do. moon, the sun's sister, why not? and galaxies, star crowds. and i needed something for the big bang. now, my first, my first word for the big bang was the hot flash, but now -- but then -- [laughter] my editor told me, you can't use that really. [laughter] i didn't know. i learned something. it became the big flash actually.
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fine. fine, that's what you'll find in the book. so out of this new vocabulary, a new picture of the universe started to emerge in my mind as well. it's a picture of the old ways that in the end came in at 707 words and one short of two times 20 names of people. so those are the words that i used. there's a lot of dark and people, not that dark people are in the book, but because student-people are in the book, and dark matter -- there's lots of drops as well for particles. there's star is a word that comes -- far comes up a lot because things are far away. fear, crazy for crazy stars, etc. so there is sort of the like the map of the book that emerges. so now i had language. what i also needed was time and mental space to put it together, and i was very lucky again for one of those beautiful things that sometimes happen in your
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life. i had a three month research stay at the university of california santa barbara right around the time when i was starting this project. i had three months where all i had to do was do my research, and i had space and intellectual freedom as well to think about things including this. so every day i would go to my office at the campus and look out of the window, and pretty much every day this was what i would see. and possibly this is where the title of the book came from, "the edge of the sky," you can see the edge of the sky meeting the edge of the big body of wart. and so i had the time where every day i would sit down and try to let this new voice come forth and emerge from, from the book itself. and so the storyline was, actually, very natural. the storyline of the book came out of a distillation, a con
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dennation, if you like, of hundreds -- condensation, if you like, of hundreds of lectures i'd given over the years, and i didn't think have to think very much about what i wanted to say. i wanted to have this arc starting from antiquity all the way to today and trying to explain what with had understood about the -- also what we don't understand, most important, what we still don't understand about the universe. but i needed a fictional character to do that, so i came up with a female character, a student-person, a student-woman. actually, here she is. those are, this is one of the beautiful illustrations that a young, talented artist did for me for the book. i'm very fortunate to have met him and really was able to interpret in pictures, i think, what i was trying to do with the book. simple, but yet an intense way
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of representing things. so here she is, our student woman. you can see she is walking up to big seer. now, the book i've got one obvious character, the student woman that i was talking about, but also there's a second important character as the first one, big seer himself. you would find he is a he rather than an it. the telescope that student woman uses to make cobs vegases of the -- cobs vegases -- observations of the universe. out there in one of the big telescopes. i had hey in my -- hawaii in my mind. i'm not an observer, so i don't want goat get to go to hawaii and on observe at 12,000 feet. it's our job, by the way. it's really hard to do this job, and my colleagues have a hard time. so i grew -- i drew upon their experience to explain what she
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would do going up all herself. in reality, you wouldn't go out by yourself on a big telescope, the too dangerous. .. fast forwarding to the present day and especially to the big
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mystery. i expect that the date, some of you will read the book already, but by way of background, what we learned about the universe since and where it is coming from. very much the content of the book but in quite not so much simple words. so here's a picture of the night sky, and this is the moon, full moon. the full moon is about half a degree in size. more than half of a degree. we all know what the moon looks like in the sky. look at this long little square
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marked xdf. this is a patch of the sky which is about as big as a piece of sky that would fit inside and needles i held at arms length, tiny. if you look at this patch of the sky using the most powerful tell -- telescope, the hubble telescope, this is what we see. 5005 in galaxies in the sky. each one of those dots, assume is a galaxy just like our own galaxy. each one of those galaxies contains about 100 billion stars. 5500 of them just in the tiny eye of the needle. you can see proof what i'm saying i isn't true. you can see the galaxies. but the most astonishing point
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really is that 96% of university is missing -- breaking news here. all you can see in this picture is nothing. it's about four, 5%. so that is the big question and the big mystery that we are trying to solve. you can see on this cosmic pico if you like, the luminous matter is a tiny part. a tiny bit of the pie, and then the red is other non-luminous components. it's fundamentally all the same stuff you and i are made of, but they look at the big part of apply, dark matter, 23% or so.
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95% of the universe is unknown and that's the big question, the big quest we're all trying to solve. so that's what she is up to and that's what our universe looks like. but how does it look like in the sky? let me talk briefly about what our universe, our incredible universe looks like if you look at it through a prism, if you like. so this picture here is a picture of black matter, obviously. if you expand your hand here in the very room right now, in the second or about 100,000 black markel -- black matter particles going through him. we don't feel the. why are they out there? this picture is a representation of that.
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here's what they have to say about this. it seems crazy people should think there is a lot more stuff you can't see them stuck you can see. it's true. they do. they played there's about five times more dark matter than normal matter. if you look around you realize the wide world is many, many, many stars. about four times for each person on the whole world. and you will find there aren't many other star crowds in the sky as the art in the wide world. and yet all of this is just a tiny bit of everything. she goes on explaining how we actually know all of that. so far, what we think is the
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idea is made up but had we no? how we came to believe that is an incredible statement, exceptional claims require exceptional proof. and the thing is that thanks to modern advances in observation technology what we can do nowadays is we can look back in time. technology is a time machine. in other words, the speed of light is finite. seven at times around the world is one second yet it is finite because the universe is so big that now the further away you look, the further back in time you see. in other words, life coming to us from the sun less our star, eight minutes, eight minutes is the time it takes to light across the 100 billion miles that separate us from the sun. when we see the sun coming up as the sun as it is now, eight minutes ago, so the pictures of
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the galaxy is a picture of the galaxies as they were four, 5 billion years ago. if you look further back in time, and we are going to pick up light that came from the end of the universe right across from the big bang, 380,000 years after the big bang we can pick up light that left 37 billion years ago. and this is what it looks like. this is an image of the baby universe, an image of the end -- i mean as scientific state because this is the very first light of the big bang itself which is being picked up by some light. you can see red dots and blue dots. those are not galaxies. stars did not exist at that time all the world was matter, light and dark matter as well. this picture is a picture of the
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universe -- grew out of the red. before this time the universe was filled with high energy fog. in the book i just get sick fog. i can say hi but that's not very useful. there are other ways in the book in which all of this is talked about. this is as far back as we can now see them we can learn an incredible amount of information to one of the things we learned by looking at this picture is the universe is 13,798,000,000 years old, give or take 37 million years which is nothing, 37 million years is nothing. we don't know the age of the earth and yet we sleep on a.
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how we now understand, 95% of it is totally dark. so what about the other, the cosmic by that was labeled dark energy? let's hear what they have to say about dark energy. >> she steps outside in the cold night holding a cup of hot coffee in both hands. the wide world is beautiful in the dark, clear skies. once again she can't help but be amazed by it all. doesn't matter how may times she'd seen this before or how much it is about what is out there. the site of the stars is enough to make her gasp. it all seems so still, and yet it's changing all the time, she whispers to no one.
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it's hard to believe everything out there has the wide world and fast is running away from us. yet like mr. hubble found long ago, the stars are running away from each other as the space and gets bigger and bigger. it's growing with time. and so not only growing with time, which is an incredible discovery hubble made about hoosiers ago, which by itself is an amazing fact that it is growing with time and the star crowds are moving away from each other, means if we look back in time come if we reverse time going backwards in time, the star crowds were covered together, closer and closer. there comes a point at the very beginning at the bottom of the diagram where they were sort of on top of each other, what is
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now called the big bang. this is not only what her observations of the night skies tell us end of the luminous ago the big game and but also we learn that the universe is not only becoming big with time in the coming with bigger in time in of accelerating pace. so let's go back and see how we can tell that the dark push is out there in the first place. certain people found that the backup stars give them the nightlight table leg. using my table let's. in other words, very luminous source of life. you measure how it appears to
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you and you know how bright it is to begin with. you can work out how far away things and universe and work out how far away, how fast they're moving. that is the discovery i was talking about before. so not just any stars will do. here's a picture of a dying star. what they needed was a kind of star that dies in a big show of fire and light that can be seen from far away. it looks a great number of star deaths and found that some dying stars can be used like my table like. they all gave out near the same light. the student people weren't sure why the. perhaps it was dying stars all made of the same stuff and all by when they become heavier. the student people managed to -- thanks to those they work out
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how far away the star crowds are. they also knew how fast the star crowds were moving. and when they put those two things together, they found something no one expected. that's the dark push of course. and then the dark push itself, its distance from other parts of our universe, which in the book cannot be called a multi-verse. british pound i think. and so the book ends the speculation about the fundamental rail of our universe, or multi-verse are the other kinds beyond what we know exist? one of these questions were very much investigating, somewhat
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controversial even, specific matters are beyond our universe. for ever away from opportunity of ever absorbing them. let me leave you with a closing thought. after the observation is over, did she has done a great job and it's time now for the student woman to go back home and reflect and think and work very hard on everything this year has done for her during the night. she sits down. the big blue body of wate waterr never seems to go on without edges and without into. she can see the one hand of the sun on her face. she is happy. the night work is gone will.
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this is the best the it can be . she can go home now. but her job as though just because the there's much more to do in the coming weeks and months. letters and entire books are hidden. little by little she'll understand it better and better. all just do is ask the right questions in the right way. i leave you with those thoughts. i would like to thank again for being here with me tonight sharing this very special day for me, the day when my first book comes out and very much an initiation for me to become your speaking with you to be sharing those ideas and thoughts with you. and, of course, i would be very happy to take questions and sign books at the end. thank you very much. [applause]
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[inaudible] >> we would like to remind the listening audience that this is a program with the commonwealth are of california and you're listening to "the edge of the sky: all you need to know about the all-there-is" with roberto trotta. we will set up a microphone 50 give any questions please come up to the front and speak into the microphone as we are recording. >> please don't be intimidated by the mic. >> i'd like to know how a normal, i shouldn't say normal person, a lay person is supposed to conceptualize the stuff that was there that banged, that we
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understand this more than an electron or poker on and yet is the all mess of universe. that's sorbet right up there with everything hard to understand. >> thank you for the great question. let me first say in the beginning, we are normal persons, do. of[laughter] that's a great question. what you're describing is a great paradox, the fact that if dark matter is what we think it is, any type of particle beyond particles we know well, then that is possibly a subatomic particle, and yet it takes up 23% or so of the higher message of the inverse. so the paradox is that to explain faucher we see in the
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sky, to explain the galaxy, the entire expansion of university, you need a particle, perhaps 1000 times more massive than the particles that make up the atom in our bodies. and yet it's quite possible, so the big question mark nowadays is precisely that, how do we close the loop? had to explain the biggest case which is bounded by the dark matter particles with points like particles that, you know, its of no special extend. so this is why this question, they merge together the biggest case, world by gravity, the part of physics which are well by other forms of physics and understand what we really need to do we need to find a new theory that merges the four forces of the universe come including gravity which we haven't found yet.
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you're putting your fear exotic on the whole topic today, and that's very much a question that remains open. we don't have an answer to that yet. >> i'm a writer some curious to know the extent to which undertaking this project has influenced how you write and communicate when you write your scientific research papers. >> thank you. that's an interesting angle for me as a writer, and i can set i am a writer. i feel liberated wind, because when you put on a straitjacket it's constraining at the same time it forces you to find a new voice, a new type of voice that wasn't mine before and came out. and so over time a straitjacket
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became like a sweater actually. i started feeling at peace. so the voice itself grew on me. but when i go back to my writing, i am more aware of the work and also of the functions i make. then i can use it to the extent of the lexicon and so that's great but at the same time i am much more careful with my words because i am now much more aware of the fact that there are many layers of a function in the words that they use, and this pushes me to find even more clear than before, even sharper and crisper in my writings. i'm not so concerned about my scientific writing because of the different specialized audience in have. there's not too much space for writing creativity.
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i'm not very much concerned about that side. in my other writings, it really made me focus very sharply on the hidden layers of assumptions between us that really hinder communication and dialogue. >> one of the things that have baffled all the really physicist is a gravity. and now maybe this is not quite the topic you are dressing. i have heard inferences about gravel waves. will you comment on where we are in solving the problem of gravity, what it is, and how it works? >> gravity is a big mystery. as i said before we don't understand gravity, we don't understand how it binds together
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with the other known forces. i think your question is, touches on two different aspects. one part of your question was about gravity waves which was announced in mid-march earlier this year which people found evidence of ripples in space-time in the universe can look at the kind of like that i showed you before, the maps of the universe. that's the pacific claim, the state-of-the-art of that is that the claim was brought out, theye would've been a very big discover if confirmed pointed at the moment it seems that what they saw was not actually for the greatest part was not gravity waves from the big bang, but it was possibly due to dust, dust and the galaxy. although this is not settled it should be settled in the next few weeks as the planck
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satellite which ushered before we will be a blue clarify that. that one thing is a much up in the air to we learn more about it before the next few weeks. to the bigger topic of gravity though, we have learned some very interesting things, einstein, and the ideas i explain in the book about how einstein so grabbed not as a force but actually interested gravity is actually geometry. we think of gravity of something that pulls your gravity is the shape of space-time. in other words, when you think of the moon going around the earth in circles and we think there's gravity keeping it in orbit but ask what the mood is doing, it's going straight as i possibly can on the space time itself is bent by the presence of an object like earth and that makes a straight path look like a circle. so the moon is going straight.
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einstein had a revolution idea of geometry of space-time being the actual nature of gravity, and his ideas of been challenged many times, specifically trying to change way that matter. perhaps you don't need that matter, just forget it and it would be a better universe evolved the spots we would be worrying about that we haven't succeeded, einstein's idea of gravity has been tested and so far as always held up. as far as we know -- of course we keep testing it in greater and greater details of perhaps one day we will understand gravity in this way. >> yes, two years ago a professor set up a $2 billion off the magnetic spectrometer satellite, and i touched it to the international space station. the goal that was to see if he could possibly figure out of
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course is not his, 60 country, about 200 assistance operation operational, amazing he was able to coordinate the whole thing. he's in his 80s. and it's been collecting data for two years now, and apparently just very recently analyzing the data has indicated that we are finding out what dark matter is the could you elaborate on that? >> is. so i think it was as late as last week at the latest report came out after member. i was on my way -- i've had time to read. i was often key topics which showed part of the d-tech a flight on international space station was able to measure the energy of antimatter, particular particles which is the entire particle to electron. i apologize for using jargon but
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i could public answered in a thousand words and it would take a while to do that. i'll take a shortcut. so to your question, able to measure how many particles and measure them to highest precision than ever before and also higher energy than ever before. the idea behind this measure why we need at time matter? it sounds cool, but it's actually pretty boring because we produce all the time nowadays. antimatter is boring but have not been many processes in the universe that produce antimatter. so it can find more antimatter coming from outer space and expect based on what we know about antimatter, then perhaps the antimatter is coming from dark matter, the dark matter particles chasing each other and then giving out other particles, which of the and indirect signal for the presence of dark matter.
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but things are more complicated because there are many other possible sources and get that done matter particles could unstrung automatic -- magnetic fields to enter but in this signal is very, very hard. so the consensus until recently, now i haven't had the time to study the latest changes, so far the report says that the matter could be explained. one of the of something that can be explained as simple as a physical term, you don't need to involve dark matter. people are wary. i expect the william more work along this. -- there will be more work along this. >> thanks to amazon i was able
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to download your book is born and i enjoyed it very much today. >> thank you very much. >> i used to have a job trying to get federal funding for congress for ecosystem restoration and the scientific component part. i always struggle to get the scientist to explain what they needed, why they needed it in words that the average congressman, admittedly a low bar, could understand. [laughter] and i found myself thinking there should be disciplined in university system for students to learn to interpret science for the average person. so i applaud what you're doing and wish more people were able to do that. >> thank you, sir. thank you for saying that. that means a lot to me. [applause] especially because not everybody subscribes to his opinion. by and large my calls have been very supportive of my project, but some have been quite baffled by it and they stick to a view that there are 59 different
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working language of why should we put your it down? why should i be using galaxy rather, and make up new words? some people take the view that we shouldn't be dumbing down things to this extent the i think that's misguided. i don't regard my book is being a dumb down version of if you look on reality and on the universe in the lexicon which is to try to refresh and our views. i agree with what you're saying. we need to be able to commute it with our policymakers, with the people who fund our research, people in the street, taxpayers. it's only fair and right we would communicate with the people and explain what we're doing, why we're doing it and why we need funds to do and why it's important to the people refuse to do that, i don't think
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they're doing -- they might be brilliant research scientist, no question, but there's other side to even important nowadays, nobody can be in the lab working anymore. it's time and money put together, and my favorite view on this is when the founder of parmalat was asked in congress in 1962 how fermilab, how much money was spent, would help defending the united states. during the cold war. and he said, mr. congressman, maybe mining will not help defending the united states, but you make it worthwhile defending. >> well, thank you for the stock
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today. your simple life which has really encouraged me to come up, somebody who doesn't know too much science. but i did see scientific pundit explain dark matter, i thought was very good but he said, there are three types of matter. there's matter, there's antimatter, and doesn't matter of. [laughter] >> except it does matter. >> i want us to go all kidding aside, a serious question. i don't know my science, but i'm curious if matter is dark and you can't see it and you can't express it, how do scientists know that it's really there? u.s.a. 95% of the universe unknown, so forth. so how do they prove that? i mean, what gives you the assurance that you can say, you know, that there's matter that we don't know what it is but
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it's there, it's dark matter and we don't know anything about it. so could you say a little bit like that for the person who hasn't done physics since high school? >> absolutely. i mean, there's two chapters in the book dedicated to it, and it's a great question. this could be an entirely different talk because are so different lines of evidence of dark matter. although i have to say nothing is ever, everything is always provision -- provision on size. we don't say those things as absolute certainty. we say within the context of what we know today and the proof that we have it looks like, but we always on a provisional stance, you learn more in the future it might change. there are many things i could say but the evidence of dark matter. i wish anyone thing that i think will be as close as can be to showing you dark matter and where they can really see with your naked eye. here it is. saw this is a picture of the sky
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taken by the hubble space telescope. what you see in this picture is this our collective future that you see like little -- to see them, like a little -- i know the camera will hate me for this, but right here, they're in here. looks like a camera lens flare but it's not. what you're seeing here is those little bits of arc are images of distant galaxies whose light as traffic to the universe are being bent by the presence of other matter on the way to us but and the other matter, the visible part is the bright galaxies that you see in the center, okay? einstein's theory tells us how much bending matter does to space time and, therefore, how much bending, how much arc like a sch├╝tzi and how art is should be. those are called einstein winks.
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we see how much -- wings. how much matter how much mass there needs to be innocent of this cluster of galaxies to do the bending and we can measure how much we can seek the you can we see a part of the matter to the two things it turns out that you need much more mass in a galaxy cluster, cluster of galaxies, to explain this bending of light. that's one part of evidence we have for the editor and there are many more. many, many more, it really looks like there's something out there that is doing all of this pulling, gravitational pulling. >> we will take one last question. >> well, thank you very much for writing the book i haven't read it yet but your approach is great. the only think i will dislike more than having my intelligence insulted, it's out of my
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ignorance insulted. so i think this goes towards that. but this is a subject, the nature of the actual universe that i think that since i was a young person but i think about all the time. the within it gives me solace is the process of extrapolation, which is that i think of the smallest particles that are measurable and sometimes i think that maybe our universe might be commensurate to the smallest particle ever measured, meaning that it could be like you said before multi-verses, many, many universes. people always say infiniti, i could severely long time, eternity like us are long time, infinity like it's on dissent but they don't get the concept. i wonder if there's any scientific value to that sort of extrapolation? >> yes. that's been much speculation at the moment. i should really put out the morningside for anything i'm saying more on, but yes, you're
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